Including videos in eLearning is one powerful way to make your courses engaging, interesting and informative at the same time. Videos greatly contribute to visually enhancing the content to gain learner’s attention, especially, if the course needs to present heavy content on screen for explaining a particular process or demonstrate product functioning.
Recently one of our clients, a leading manufacturing company came with a similar requirement of including videos into their online training courses. The courses were for training their Sales personnel on their newly launched set of products, and some courses were for their customers on the usage of their products.
No doubt using videos in eLearning courses is a good idea. But then the client wanted to have more number of Flash videos in the courses, explaining the different features of the product and wanted those videos to be streamed without any loading issues; this was a bit challenging to develop courses that fulfilled these conditions.
Understanding the requirement, that each video to be included was not supposed to be more than 2 minutes of duration with audio synchronized, we did not want the video to be timed with the other animated elements. So we decided to incorporate Flash videos into the courses using the Progressive Download and Playback option of Adobe Flash.
In this Progressive download option, you need ActionScript to communicate with Flash to playback the video, but in Flash MX04 Professional and Flash 8, Flash CS (3, 4, 5, 6) versions media components (skin) are available for ready-made playback interfaces that can be chosen for your videos.
Also you need to convert the video to the FLV format and keep it external to the Flash movie before you get started with importing. Here are the steps of how to progressively download videos into Flash.
1. Choose File > Import > Import to Stage or Import Video
2. Once you click on Import to Stage , the Import Video Dialogue box appears; this box will guide you through the complete process.
3. Then select and verify the path and the video clip that you want to import and click continue.
4. In the next step, you need to choose the “skin” or the predefined controls for the playback options of video. There are many skins with alternative designs and with different combinations of controlling and navigation buttons.
5. Click “Continue” to complete the video importing process. Flash encodes the video and It will take a few minutes, depending on the size of your video file.
6. Keep the external files in the same location. Flash encodes the video and saves the .FLV file in the same path where the Flash movie is saved. For example, here the video “m1l4s2_4.flv” and the skin “ClearExternalAll.swf” are created.
7. By default, Flash added the required video component in the Library and the instance on the Stage. This is what you require to playback the video.
8. If you want to change video settings, click the Parameters tab (Windows>Component Inspector) in video playback settings.
This is how we have incorporated videos into the eLearning courses using the Flash Progressive download option to address the client’s requirement. Have you come across any such requirement? Please do share your experience on the same.